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Old 02-05-2018, 01:50 PM   #1
Teach
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Malcolm Butler: A Past Reminder

Years ago, when I was teaching high-school history, I used to supplement my teachers pay by working as the school’s clock-operator at our basketball games. When the regular basketball season came to an end, our high school gym would serve as a host-site for post-season tournament play.

One incident in particular from my clock-operator days will always stand out; it reminds me, to a degree, of the recent benching of Patriots CB Malcolm Butler in last evening’s Superbowl.

As I recall, we were hosting two games, one at 7pm; the other, at 9:30 pm. The first game that evening almost wasn’t even played. It was about to be declared a forfeit. One of the teams hadn’t shown up; there was less than ten minutes to go before game-time.

Just then, the absent team did show up. They quickly changed into their uniforms. They came out on our gym floor with about one-minute to spare.

Yet, something very unusual happened in that game. The tardy team’s star player, their top point-getter (I’ll call him Jim) was not in the starting lineup. In fact, this future college and later professional basketball player, didn’t even get into the game. He was “benched”. His team lost.

But why. Why was this outstanding hoopster kept out of the game? I would learn later that this player had kept the entire team waiting because he was late in arriving at the school to catch the team bus.

Afterward, I spoke with our school’s athletic director. He lauded the coach for keeping this player out of the game. The A.D. said that the coach could have easily overlooked this player’s actions (my understanding was that there was no valid excuse for his tardiness) and put him in the lineup. His team would have more than likely won the game; but he didn’t. I believe the coach's action was a lesson for all of us.

Now for Malcolm Butler. Why didn’t he play, except on special teams (not one defensive snap)? He was an experienced cornerback. He was the Patriots Superbowl hero in their win over Seattle. What had he done (You could see that he was quite emotional during the singing of our “National Anthem”)? Was Butler in Bill Belichick’s “doghouse”? Was it because he skipped “the interview session” earlier in the week? Or, was their some other reason? I’m sure at some point the real reason will come out. All Butler would say is: “They gave up on me.”

Would Butler’s appearance in the defensive secondary have made a difference? I believe so. Although Butler’s replacement, Eric Rowe, made some decent plays, there was no question that the Eagles were going to take advantage of this little used cornerback - and they did.

As I think about it, was Butler guilty of some team transgression? Did he miss a flight? Was he late for a practice? Just like that young high school basketball player who was benched about 45 years ago.
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Old 02-05-2018, 02:53 PM   #2
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My guess is Malcolm was overheard betting over .
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Old 02-05-2018, 03:25 PM   #3
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My money says that Butler was just a pawn in the hands of Bill Belichick's massive ego. If Butler was guilty of some "real" teem transgression...then the "laudable coaching move" would have been to keep him out of the game ENTIRELY. What sort of message is a coach sending to the "transgressing" player...when he uses him in the game only SPARINGLY?

I hope Butler DID have his money on the "over 49".
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:23 PM   #4
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My late father used to say, when it came to punishment: “Let the patch fit the crack!” My father’s belief: There are degrees of punishment when it comes to transgressions.

I ask: “What is it that Malcolm Butler did that caused him to be humiliated in front of thousands at the field and millions watching on TV? Did he strike a coach? Did he commit an immoral act? Was his act that heinous that he was forced to sit out the entire game (with the exception of a special teams appearance) on the Patriots sideline.

Why not bench him for the entire first quarter, or even the first half, but the entire game?

In my opinion, Coach Belichick has to have had "a hair across his ass" when it came to Malcolm Butler, even if it meant the Patriots losing the Superbowl. Yet, can we dig deeper?


Was it just Butler, or is there an obscure, deep-seated issue? Is Butler just the scapegoat? Is he the symbol of a festering problem? Only Bill Belichick knows that.
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Old 02-05-2018, 07:30 PM   #5
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New York Post is reporting there may have been marijuana, curfew violation and weak practice issues that led Bellichik to bench Butler.

https://www.nypost.com/2018/02/05/ma...d-to-benching/
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Old 02-05-2018, 07:36 PM   #6
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New York Post is reporting there may have been marijuana, curfew violation and weak practice issues that led Bellichik to bench Butler.

https://www.nypost.com/2018/02/05/ma...d-to-benching/
Hey...I called Butler a "pawn" at 3:25 PM...and it took the NY Post until 6:07 to report the same observation. Who's the real "News"?
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Old 02-07-2018, 08:16 AM   #7
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Malcolm Butler. Malcolm Butler, the hero of Superbowl 49, is in uniform; yet he’s benched for the entire Superbowl (except for special teams). Why?

Many theories have been posited. I’m going to put another spin on this. The decision to sit Malcolm Butler came not from Patriots coach Bill Belichick, nor certainly from The Krafts, but, of all places, from the NFL Commissioner’s office. Yes, the Commissioner. But Why?

My theory: Because the Superbowl is the League’s “Showcase”. The events leading up to, and including the game itself, provide a setting for the NFL to shine. To capture the headlines. To be in the limelight. I t must go flawlessly. It didn’t!

Neither Rob Gronkowski (concussion protocol) nor Malcom Butler (illness) were available for media questions on that opening night “interview session” at St. Paul’s Excel Energy Center.

Moreover, I’m only surmising here, but did the Commissioner’s Office speak with the Krafts who, in turn, talked to Bill Belichick, who in turn meted out punishment.

Gronkowski punished? Are you kidding? As Tony Soprano woulda said: “Fuhgettaboutit!” But, the oft-criticized, much-maligned Butler… “Yeh, that’ll work. We can do that!”

So, there’s Butler sobbing on the bench having just been told he’s not playing. Humiliated! Ouch!!!

What were those Jim Croce lyrics?:

“You don't tug on superman's cape;
You don't spit into the wind.
You don't pull the mask off that old lone ranger;
And you don't mess around with Jim.”


Only in this case: “You don’t mess around with Roger.”
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Old 02-07-2018, 08:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Teach View Post
Malcolm Butler. Malcolm Butler, the hero of Superbowl 49, is in uniform; yet he’s benched for the entire Superbowl (except for special teams). Why?

Many theories have been posited. I’m going to put another spin on this. The decision to sit Malcolm Butler came not from Patriots coach Bill Belichick, nor certainly from The Krafts, but, of all places, from the NFL Commissioner’s office. Yes, the Commissioner. But Why?

My theory: Because the Superbowl is the League’s “Showcase”. The events leading up to, and including the game itself, provide a setting for the NFL to shine. To capture the headlines. To be in the limelight. I t must go flawlessly. It didn’t!

Neither Rob Gronkowski (concussion protocol) nor Malcom Butler (illness) were available for media questions on that opening night “interview session” at St. Paul’s Excel Energy Center.

Moreover, I’m only surmising here, but did the Commissioner’s Office speak with the Krafts who, in turn, talked to Bill Belichick, who in turn meted out punishment.

Gronkowski punished? Are you kidding? As Tony Soprano woulda said: “Fuhgettaboutit!” But, the oft-criticized, much-maligned Butler… “Yeh, that’ll work. We can do that!”

So, there’s Butler sobbing on the bench having just been told he’s not playing. Humiliated! Ouch!!!

What were those Jim Croce lyrics?:

“You don't tug on superman's cape;
You don't spit into the wind.
You don't pull the mask off that old lone ranger;
And you don't mess around with Jim.”


Only in this case: “You don’t mess around with Roger.”
they probably blew the game because the guy that replaced the butler was a first class disaster.

i would love to know if those big guys in Vegas that bet all the money on the Eagles had a little inside info on this because there was no buyback money on the event.

that patriot defense sure as hell stunk in the superbowl and the offense could not recover from it.
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:45 AM   #9
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Lambo -

You may well be right about possible "inside information". All those huge bets on the Eagles. Even if you're "a whale," those are gigantic bets on game that one could have easily made a case for the Patriots winning, and covering the spread. Now, if you knew - ahead of time (strange that the decision occurred right at game-time) -- that Malcolm Butler wasn't playing...
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:17 AM   #10
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Butler put out a statement denying all the allegations of pot smoking missed curfews etc. If he's lying it will come out and he knows it. Brady was the first like of that tweet. It looks more and more that Belichek outsmarted himself .
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Old 02-07-2018, 01:05 PM   #11
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Butler put out a statement denying all the allegations of pot smoking missed curfews etc. If he's lying it will come out and he knows it. Brady was the first like of that tweet. It looks more and more that Belichek outsmarted himself .
After awhile people start believing their press clippings.A lot of Patriots fans (I lived in Massachusetts until a few months ago, so I had to hear this) think that with Bellichik's great "program", that you could plug in any bum off the street and they would succeed.There is however, a thing called talent/ability that is also paramount to being successful.It looks like the "next man up" apparently wasn't up to the task on replacing Butler..
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Old 02-07-2018, 03:12 PM   #12
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There is fracture in the power ranks. Bill Belichick is a student of Bill Parcells. "If they want you to cook the dinner, at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries." Like QB!

Who knows what Butler did. It will eventually come out. But, right now, you don't want to be on his bad side. The Patriots organization is chipping away at his power. As I said earlier in the season, real football people know this team is not as good as it was. Nothing lasts forever and the trade of JG undermined his authority. Basically, the same reason Parcells bailed years ago. There is turmoil in the top ranks and as they say in the military "shit rolls downhill". The fact that Josh McDaniels turned down a head coaching position at the last minute, speaks volumes about what's going on here. Who knows what promises were made, wink, wink. Not saying this will happen tomorrow but by 2019 the Pats will probably have a new head coach. Belichick is probably on short time at NE. One more season at the most. I think McDaniels will be shown everything Belichick does and everything he knows. It all gets passed down.
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Old 02-07-2018, 06:58 PM   #13
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As I said earlier in the season, real football people know this team is not as good as it was.

That's the reason I can't quibble about their coaching in terms of 2017-18 season.

Sure, Brady is more consistent and versatile than Roethlisberger, but neither team was 13-3 caliber. Steelers have managed to overpay a running back, botch their defense with an undersized linebacker that never developed and is now finished, lose their only remnant of their brand of defense to a conference rival, and then get bullied by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Patriots managed to navigate their course with their paper-tiger team all the way to Super Bowl favoritism! It took an opponent playing at a peak state to beat them. Yea, regime change is in order in the near future, but I can't criticize the job this season.
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